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When a parent learns that their child has been diagnosed with a serious illness or condition, it’s difficult not to be consumed with worst case scenarios.

But as Bekah Bowman will tell you, you have two choices: either allow your past and future to steal joy from your present, or embrace joy in the present moment, no matter what it looks like.

And Bekah is no stranger to this concept: her two boys, Titus and Ely, were both affected by a rare genetic disease (CLN2) that leads to the quick loss of skills and eventual passing in childhood.

After her oldest son passed away Bekah wrote Can’t Steal My Joy, a book dedicated to helping those whose life path has taken an unexpected turn to rediscover joy.

Today, Bekah shares some of her strategies on how to manage anticipatory grief, learning to make the best of the present, the importance of making time to grieve, leaning on your faith, and the power of acceptance.

Key Takeaways with Bekah Bowman

  • Ways to process a difficult diagnosis
  • Managing anticipatory grief
  • Learning to focus on the present & enjoy each moment
  • Dealing with feelings of numbness
  • The power of acceptance and embracing joy
  • Why you should consider scheduling “grieving sessions”
  • Leaning on your faith through grief
  • The importance of honoring date nights with your partner
  • Finding community in extended family and friends
  • Learning to flex your “Joy Muscle”

Bekah Bowman Tweetables

  • “Throughout our journey, no matter what our life looks like, we let our past and our future steal from our present.” — Bekah Bowman
  • “Choosing joy will feel unnatural at first, it’s like a spiritual muscle we have to learn how to flex.”  — Bekah Bowman
  • “The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances in our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.” — Russel M. Nelson
  • “If we are afraid to go to the difficult spaces where we grieve and feel really hard things, it brings down our ability to experience the height of our emotion: the highs, the excitement, and the joy.”  — Bekah Bowman
  • “When we can accept our kids for who they are and the space that they’re in and not let the expectations get in our way, we can really see some cool things about our story.” — Bekah Bowman
  • “My husband is the only other person on this planet who knows what it’s like to be their parent, and there’s something very unifying about that.”  — Bekah Bowman
  • “The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances in our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.” — Russel M. Nelson


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